How did you acquire your T?

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How did you acquire your T?

Post by Thorlick » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:41 pm

I was just searching for an old file for a friend and came across this article. Around 1997 when I was assisting Gus Stangeland in administering the MTFCA forums one of the jobs I undertook was posting stories from members. I jump started submissions by posting a few stories of my own. This ondetailed how I obtained Rusty, my second model T Ford some years prior. I thought the photos appended to the article had been lost as though the story archives are hidden in the directory tree of the MTFCA website, the photos were scrubbed.

So for the interested, here is a story of how I got my current Model T Ford Russel T. Phored or "Rusty" . If you have an account of your T acquisition please post it here!

From the 1998 MNTFCA website:

The acquisition of Russell T. Phored ("Rusty")

Owner: Terry Horlick, California. E-mail: Terry Horlick
At the urging of R.D. I have put down the story of the acquisition of Russell T. Phored ("Rusty") and would like to share it with you...thereby removing any question about my lack of sanity.

About a year ago I was surprised at my office by the sight of two slippers protruding out from under Toady (T. Thaddeus Toad the '13 "Mountain Wagon" which was my principal mode of transportation) in my parking lot. Fearful of a wrongful death suit from OZ, I was much relieved when the owner of the feet reappeared only slightly grease smudged and presented herself on my doorstep. It seemed that Toady was perfect for her tourist business in Alaska. So much so that a sum sufficient to transfer ownership was offered. Only after the transaction was agreed to did I realize that unless drastic measures occurred I would soon become a pedestrian. Careful assessment of my motoring needs, including due consideration of the frequency with which I must back up my street to reach home, made it clear that only a '27 T pick-up would do. In fact only a rough, nasty, neglected original would do.

Toady my first Model T
Toady my first Model T
mtoad.jpg (15.67 KiB) Viewed 2337 times

A search for just the right vehicle was undertaken when an ad on the MTFCA classified section paid off. Having read my ad another member told me of a nice vehicle which could be had in Nevada. After about 4 months of intense procrastination contact with the owner of the vehicle was completed and an appointment for evaluation set up. At the last minute Bill Jennings having that particular Sunday morning free agreed to accompany me. I assume that he is amused by observing idiocy as no other explanation for his participation suffices. In any case he presented himself with two 30x3 wooden wheels in hand "just in case"..."we'll be back by 3 p.m. won't we?"

Two hours later we found ourselves touring the vehicle owner's garage workshop and inspecting various vintage Ford Model T's each festooned with some questionably '27 looking parts. The yard was circled with narrow gauge railroad rolling stock which was set off nicely by the lovely brown colored '27 bits and pieces sticking up out of the ground around the yard. I was mightily dismayed to learn that the larger heap of iron oxide in the middle was the "almost complete original '27 Ford roadster pickup". I soon was directed to the correct pile and the following discussion indicated that Mrs. Owner would not be excessively disappointed at the departure of the '27.

Since I wanted a complete original car with just a little rust here and there I really wasn't interested in this fugitive from a Virginia City mining claim. Mr. Owner says "well, what will you give me?" Lack of interest in the vehicle motivated me to proffer just $5 in order to kill the deal. "No, I won't split the difference between your price and mine", says I. The end of negotiations found me parting with $5 for the car and assorted additional shekels for all of the oxidized artifacts I felt I wanted to extract from the yard.

By this time it was starting to rain and "wouldn't it be a nice surprise for Mrs. Owner if you and your vintage vehicle were gone before her arrival?" Sure! Now how many of you can drive a T with frozen engine, no head, no wheels, no drive shaft, no differential, no axles, no seats, no top....etc. off of a stack of railroad ties and onto a trailer? Mr. Owner fearing the collapse of his carefully engineered rural renewal project suddenly materialized a huge headframe and hoist on wheels. After suspending the rear of the T with the hoist and fitting wheels onto the front it only took an hour and a half to whisk the trailer underneath. Papers were signed, money exchanged and Mr. Owner was gone. Oh, I guess he just wanted to go in out of the heavy rain which was now falling.

Rusty on trailer coming home after purchase for $5
Rusty on trailer coming home after purchase for $5
rustyi80.jpg (35.36 KiB) Viewed 2337 times

Through all of this I assumed that the continuous laughter from Mr. Jennings was a sign of hypoglycemia so I spent some of the funds I saved by not buying a reasonably complete car on a grease-burger. Our culinary stop coincided with the end of the rain storm, as we left the burger joint Bill giggled about how nice that rusty T looked now that it was turning white. As we coursed through Reno and ascended I-80 I had to admit that it really did look nicer now that the pick-up was virtually hidden under a blanket of snow. Those of you who have been along this route are familiar with the "bug" station which was now about 1/2 mile ahead. At this time all forward progress ceased permitting the installation of snow chains onto the tow vehicle and a photo session right there in the fast lane! A few hours later we pulled in to the agriculture check station to hear from the head bug inspector that the freeway was closed over the pass (Donner Pass). I tell you I was relieved to hear that the return road to Reno was open and clear..."yes officer, we'll head right back down there".

It sure can get cold and cramped sleeping on a Truckee street behind the wheel of a Ford F150. Round 'bout midnight everyone else's cars started up and sure enough the highway had just re-opened for those with chains, FWD, and others with LIGHT trailers, NO TOWED VEHICLES. We were safe, we weren't towing a vehicle, we were towing a light trailer...with...hmm...hmm...a load of snow! The highway patrol woman guarding the on-ramp exclaimed "wow that load of snow looks just like a neat old car...that's really pretty!" I'm not sure she heard my proffered thanks as I disappeared on down the on-ramp. I prudently set the speedometer at 8 mph which allowed my arm to avoid frost-bite as I reached out to scrape a viewport through the snow on the windshield.

For the next 15 minutes car after car zipped around the F150 and it's trailer load of snow. In a few minutes we found ourselves weaving around a field of all those autos parked in funny places all over the freeway. My first reaction was that perhaps we should stop and offer help to these many unfortunate fellow travelers, unfortunately our rig chose this very moment to refuse any alteration in it's downhill speed of 8 mph . Did you know that it really doesn't matter if you have wheels turning or not, facing the direction of travel or not, when your trailer decides it wants to take over the driving. All those sitting on their hoods really applauded my masterful driving skill as the trailer threaded our way sideways between all the other cars and off of the ice.

With the show over and only one collision with a snow bank we proceeded on down I-80 for the next three hours without even one car passing us. We pulled into Grass Valley about 12 hours after our planned 3 p.m. arrival time. Which allowed me a few hours to prepare for work the next day. When Terrie, my wife, saw the trailer she was upset that I had overpaid for my new treasure...."do you think you can get your $5 back?" I decided not to discuss the additional shekels.

Rusty ca. 1997 before full concours restoration... now in 2019 Rusty is still awaiting that restoration.
Rusty ca. 1997 before full concours restoration... now in 2019 Rusty is still awaiting that restoration.
rustytest.jpg (44.65 KiB) Viewed 2337 times

Did you know it is difficult to remove a T from a trailer when it has no rear-end? My solution was the engine crane which was able to suspend the rear end while I drove the trailer out from under the car. After raiding my limited stock of spare parts and visiting the Turlock swap meet. I had enough parts to get the car onto wire wheels. A week of penetrating oil didn't help at all so I used a block of wood and an 8 lb. hammer. To better reach #4 with the block of wood I stood on the crank and pounded away. When I found myself sitting on the ground I knew the car was unstuck. A quick hand lap job on the valves, a new head gasket and IT WAS RUNNING! These T's are amazing. I drove it around and then opened it up and found that it was able to run without any contact of rings with cylinder walls. There was at least four pounds of gravel in the crankcase!

With the help of many friends that pick-up is now serving as my regular transportation. Most people around town keep asking when I'm going to restore or paint it...but I can't do that, it might cover up some of the rust-through! The rest of the people look at the car and wonder why I can't afford a "good" car.

Toady? Well the deal fell through and even though he is still available for his usual daily duty I much prefer to rely on Rusty. You know how lots of guys try to find three parking spaces together so that they will not get a door ding on their T? I always get three spaces....when I park the two neighboring cars always jump back for fear that the rust is contagious.

Sincerely, Terry Horlick

For the curious here is a photo of Rusty taken in 1927 (note the original wooden wheels):
Rusty in 1927
Rusty in 1927

And a much more recent photo of Rusty.
Recent Rusty photo
Recent Rusty photo
rustys.jpg (48.35 KiB) Viewed 2337 times

Toady was sold around 20 years ago, but Rusty still soldiers on as my preferred daily driver!

Terry Horlick, Penn Valley, (Northern) CA
1927 Mountain Patrol Vehicle from the Los Angeles City Fire Department (L.A.F.D.)
1912 English Station Omnibus

Les Schubert
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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Les Schubert » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:10 pm

I bought mine 45 years ago on vacation 600 miles from home. Now have been driving it for 45 years

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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Jugster » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:30 pm

My Dad got me started in the old-car hobby about a thousand years ago and I guess he and I were pretty close for most of our lives. _I like to tell stories about him and my Mom and this is one of my favorites:

It was Dad's annual habit to celebrate the coming of every spring season by packing the family into the car and taking a Sunday drive out to the Long Island Automotive Museum. Oh, I remember so clearly, seeing for the first time, Henry Austin Clark's incredible collection of horseless carriages and how enormous some of those old brass dinosaurs looked. I was only a schoolboy in second grade and at that time, the whole world was a wondrous smorgasbord of discovery, so it was very unusual for any single experience to stand out. But the towering brass automobiles, with their hip-high running-boards, hula-hoop-tall wagon wheels, bucket-sized gas headlamps and diamond-tufted seats were ever so much larger than life. And holy cow!—It must have taken a giant as strong as Daddy to start those enormous locomotive engines with just a hand-crank!

And so, at the tender age of maybe six, I got bit and shook hard by the Brass Car Bug.

Antique Car Bug d.jpg

As we left the museum, Dad told me, "Yeah, well, maybe when you're older and you have your driver's license, you can buy yourself one of these antique cars—but, you know; first you'll have to learn to drive a standard-shift" (In Dad's parlance, "standard-shift" meant anything that was not an entirely automatic transmission equipped with what my mother would soon come to refer to as a "pernderlo").

prndl lo.jpg
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That phrase, 'standard-shift,' always made Mom shudder. At the time, Dad was teaching her to drive our old '51 Mercury, but she just wasn't catching on to how to handle 'three-on-a-tree.' The result was that of my folks trading in the Merc for a '55 Pontiac with an automatic.

mom and dad cropped.jpg

With this in mind, I presumed that once I'd grown to the point of seeing over the steering wheel instead of through it, and achieved the state-mandated age of accountability (and theoretical maturity), learning to shift gears manually was going to be a challenge of Odyssean magnitude. I had no idea that in about ten years, the abrupt, pubescent addition of copious quantities of testosterone to an already-existing XY-chromosomal makeup would cause me to awaken one day with a fully-developed knowledge of handling a manual transmission. Never having done it before, muscle-memory experience, which I presumed must have suddenly dropped into my being from a previous life, was simply there. You don't teach a game fish to swim, a junkyard dog to bark, or a plump pigeon to poop on your windshield, because those abilities are woven deeply into the fabric of what the animal happens to be, and so it was with the red Marvel Mystery Oil now coursing through my veins.

Well, a lot of years went by. Alan Shepard rode a rocket into outer space and John Glenn went into orbit. There were miniskirts and Beatle-boots and the music that went along with those things, and then there were mood-rings and pet rocks and that absolutely ridiculous musical aberration known as Disco—which crossed all cultural lines and for an all too brief half-decade, seemed to eradicate racial tensions as everyone from every ethnic background was dancing together to the same stupid, disco-duck music while wearing the same, equally stupid polyester leisure-suits. A mixed blessing if ever there was one.

But I digress (always wanted to say that).
Then I got married, bought a house and raised a daughter. After paying off the resulting credit-card debt, I found myself past the age of combing my hair over and indulging in the traditional, incongruous, old-bald-guy-in-a-new-top-down-Corvette, mid-life crisis. Fortunately, there was this antique car hobby, populated by utterly wonderful old-fashioned guys and gals who still pledged allegiance to the flag at club meetings, wore their baseball hats the right way and knew the Beatles were nowhere near as good as Elvis.

Dad was well into his eighties when I surreptitiously acquired a 1915 Model T Ford like the one he and Uncle Lou bought together just before WWII, and boy-oh-boy, was he ever surprised! He walked around the car and noted the "NON-SKID" tire treads that he had once pointed out to me back at the museum a thousand years ago. He reminded me to tuck my thumb while cranking. The engine caught and went, "kisskisskisskisskisskiss," and we climbed aboard.

Penelope PrNDrLo.jpg
Penelope PrNDrLo.jpg (93.29 KiB) Viewed 2304 times

And then, without breaking his straight-ahead gaze through the windshield, he commented, "So. You learned how to work a standard-shift."[/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size]

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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Sarikatime » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:17 pm

Well guys, I couldn’t beat those entertaining stories if my life depended on it. Fantastic! For my story, I saw this beautiful 18 centerdoor in Hemmings and after talking to T friends we called the owner in Iowa and struck a deal. Once they received my money for the car they told me to send the transport in about three months. Why the heck they didn’t tell me before I sent my money that there was 12 feet of snow on the 50 foot long driveway to the garage where the old car was. I loved that car and in a moment of dumbshit attack stupidity I sold it about two years ago, the biggest mistake of my life. I have regretted selling the car every day since it left my garage. I do love my 12 towncar and the 14 bitsa still months from driveable but still miss my centerdoor. That is my boring story and I am sticking to it. Frank

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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by RajoRacer » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:39 pm

I inherited my first one - my Gramps bought it new in 1924 - two of the others ('14 Touring & '19 Centerdoor) were purchased from the second owner's families and the other two, I built from scratch.
grandpa's truck0001.jpg
grandpa's truck0001.jpg (28.24 KiB) Viewed 2233 times
Tomaso's 1914.JPG
centerdoor picture b&w.jpg
wheels & tanks on.JPG

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Tim Rogers
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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Tim Rogers » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:09 pm

I gave 30 $100 dollar bills to the previous owner...
<o><o><o><o> Tim Rogers - South of the Adirondacks - Forum member since 2013 <o><o><o><o>

Model T Mark
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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Model T Mark » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:55 pm

I grew up in the hobby as my dad had one three years before he had me. I’ll be 50 in February this year. Between my farther and I there are about 30 of them in various states of repair. Now my son and daughter have their own and really enjoy them. They are the third generation of my family to be in the hobby.

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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by George Mills » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:08 pm

I started to go to Hershey in the mid-60’s. Not because I was car crazy…I was dating a girl and her dad invited the whole family to go to a ‘car show’ where we would have to get up early…drive for near 2 hours…park in the lot of a football stadium…watch a steamer race on the track in the stadium…go to the infield to see the entire car show…walk out along the back fence to the handful of vendors to see their wares and junk…grab a Pennsylvania Dutch dinner before getting on the turnpike…and call it a nice day out. I was more interested in watching the girl than seeing the cars…cha’ kno’? But…during the table top aisle walk, the girls Dad knew a guy…”Henry the taillight man” who drove up in a black Chevy sedan delivery so I got to meet him not just the once but a few times over the years as I was now part of an annual trek…always stop and see this Henry guy. My future F-I-L was always into military, one of the founders of MVCC/MVPA. (Henry was Hershey legend...he went to the 1st and 30 some years more. 50,000 tail light inventory...all lenses always 2 bucks no matter the make, and you could have a free lens if you could guess the distributor he would stick the shaft in the ground and the cap still seemed near 4 feet off the ground! :) )

Fast forward to 1976 and the town that I had recently bought new in decided to run their 4th of July parade right past my house so early on I put out lawn chairs at the curb to save my space. I sat and waited, then could see the lead car coming, weaving from curb to curb slowly, sometimes holding true to the center stripe and something about it caught both my eye and my attention. It had skinny high tires, had a brass front, was black. To this day I don’t know whether it was Mr. Magoo or Fred McMurray in Flubber…but it was apparent that something unique was going to pass right before my eyes. As it passed, I was focused on the car details…mesmerized sort of…and when I looked at the driver who was the Grand Marshall…well I’ll be, it was Henry the Taillight Man from Hershey! We waved, I couldn’t get the car out of my head, I didn’t have 2 cents to rub together at the time, but I did ask my by then F-I-L what the car was. He replied a 1915 Ford Runabout that was still only on a ‘B’ title (2nd owner). I half-heartedly decided to add a line to my bucket list for ‘someday’.

2 years later I get transferred to Elgin Illinois for a job that has 80% travel throughout the Midwest. I also took a subscription to Hemmings, the idea being that I’d browse it while on a flight to somewhere, highlight the ones for sale in the area code I was heading, and if I had a down day or what salesman call a burn day…I might just like to look at old iron. Not too long into this sort of venue I saw an ad for a 1915 Touring, and it was destiny calling…the area code was the same as my new home, the exchange was the same too. No price was given but it was calling me. I called, the guy said come on over and it was a beautiful, showable 1915 touring. He then mentioned the price and to me it was over the moon. I asked if he’d take less or take on time as I was saving my lunch money for such an event and he said FIRM. So that killed that…until he said, how much can you scrape together? I know better now, but hey, in 1978 this was mid-west ethic and I gave him the number and he said…you mind what year and what body style? I shrugged I guess and he said ‘follow me’. You guessed it, he swung open a barn door, ran his hand over the dust, dumped some fresh gas into whatever this was, got a battery and when it wouldn’t start he drug it out of the barn with his field tractor and a tow strap. 1925 Fordor, well worn, but all there. We cut a deal for the total of my stash plus a bank loan of 1000 dollars (and he’d be happy to talk to the bank officer…Midwest, 1978, eh?) He then gave it a tug start and I was taught pedals, and I drove it around his back 40 until dusk. I showed up the end of the week with the cash and this time it started on its’ own, and he followed me the mile to my house with one bit of advice…No matter what you do, join the Elgin Model T Club, those guys will become your immediate Uncles and this thing will run like a top with all their input by next spring. He was right.

Fast forward another 4 years and I get transferred back to home office…relocate my T since the company paid 100% personal effects moving…and go to a car show where right next to me who shows? Henry the taillight man in his 1915! So began a ‘courting’ where I’d leave notes that would say SELL ME…or leave him an envelope with a blank check (which he always returned)…to having my own kids call him Uncle Henry….to my kids being his runners and assistants at car shows…and for the next 13 years he’d only giggle and shake his head ‘no’. I got sad news one day, he had passed on and my thought was ‘oh well…too bad we never cut a deal’. A week or so later I got a call from his wife. “Henry left me an envelope that said to call you when he passed. He’s had a standing offer from a museum for years. I’m to show you the offer sheet, you match the offer, no more, no less, and I’m instructed to offer you the car first!” I hung up the phone thinking “Bless you Henry” and “Mine!” at the same time. I stop over the next day and she shows me the offer sheet. Danged, this just had to be the most expensive 1915 Roadster on the face of the planet! Oh well, dreams never come cheap and I headed off to the bank and by the end of the day the car was sitting in my garage.

I know, that’s two cars…sorry…but the story needed both….the stable is now crazy with even further additions on additions…another story for another day. The original 25? Never restored it, since the intro of preservation awards it had always come home with a plaque. My son and I were going to be a tag team restore when he was about 16...he took it apart, then turned 17 and got himself into muscle cars and know how that ended...its' still disassembled, but half of it is now in his 'toy box' at his house because it somehow got lost on its' way to Schwalms one day for reasons I've never understood. I keep threatening to drop off the rest of it some day...but he owns the ramp truck, he owns both the trailers plus a landscape trailer we use for little stuff, and right now he is the only one with tow-ball equipped vehicles. :)

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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by thom » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:39 pm

We found our '21 Touring, on a trailer, for sale, in the parking lot of a steak house in Pigeon Forge TN in Sept 2017. My wife and I, along with family and friends, have attended the event for 40+ years. A few years ago we decided it was time to buy and drive an older original car. The T seemed like a good deal. The engine and trans had already been completely rebuilt. The tires were new as were three of the fenders and the splash aprons. New seats, including the springs and the top were included. The body is is fantastic condition, never having been repaired and all the original wood is still solid and tight. The top bows and hood were missing but I found and bought them. I am actually running three of the four coils that came with the car and have picked up two or three spares. If we had already owned the car we could not have rebuilt the engine and trans and done all the other things that had been done to it for the money we paid for the car. :D :D :D
Now I'd like to find a deal on a center door sedan or a coupe like that!

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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Dallas Landers » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:09 pm

Great story Terry. My 1st T was the 26 RPU. My uncles were into T's and A's when I was a kid. I thought they were fun but not for me. The whole cool, speed and shiny aluminum wheel thing was what I wanted. Well after many years, cars and Harley's I was looking at craigslist. Found this little truck in Florida. I talked a buddy into going with me to get it. He wanted to take his new truck for comfort and pull my trailer.
We left early in the morning and drove straight through. Stayed the night and met with the owner the next morning.

When my buddy seen the truck he smiled and looked at me like I was crazy. It was in a nice barn with a jeep and onother 50's ford truck. Now knowing nothing about a T, I was eager to learn from the owner how this 3 peddle monster worked. He told me they had driven it a few years earlier and had a 10 second video of it running with the older gent he got it from. He couldnt tell me for sure how to get it out of gear so we pushed ir into my trailer with engine turning. Tied it down and headed north.
IMG_2070.JPG[/attachment In all its glory. I didnt realise the wheels were not T. They had drilled the hubs for Shay Replica wheels. The rear studs were only on about 3 threads in the lug nut. I found this later. On the flying trip home around Indy at 11pm with bumper to bumper traffic 3 lanes wide with me driving my buddy's brand new Sliverado loaded to the hilt with options all nervous from the surrounding traffic it happened. My buddy Joe was snoozing in the passenger seat while I was facing Indy 500 traffic at 80 mph. While going into turn 3 the car infront swerves and here was a compete tire in the road. No room to go right or left, I was in the center lane with cars all around. I pulled a bit to the right and hear ker thump! My buddy said what the h€}{ was that? I think a tire but at 80 and only a 1/2 second look I was not sure. Well all traffic that was so trying to push me out of the way from behind was no longer there? No lights at all. I kept checing the mirror to see is the trailer tire was flat, thats when I realised the fender lihjt was no longer working on the driver side. A few miles down the road the traffic was pushing us again and I told Joe the tires were both up on my side but not only was the light gone but so was the entire fender. I had no clue what damage may be waiting on Joe's new truck. No place to pull off and check anyway. We never stooped till were were at my house 3 hrs later. No damage to the truck at all. The tire hit the fender from the front and ripped it off forward and it went under the wheels and out the back which explains why all the headlights dissapeared for a bit. Not only the big tire but an added aluminum tandem fender was spit out behind. The next morning my wife got to see my newly aquired piece of history. She was less than impressed to put it mild. Im sure she was hoping I would not be serious about this T thing. Later another buddy Joe came over that owns a T. Well he explained everything and I soaked up about 10% of what he said. Next he said lets see if it runs. Checked all fluids and put in some fuel. Joe jumped in and it roared to life. After laughing , high fives and smiling alit he said lets see if it moves. On that not he took off down the drive and down the road! I was videoing with my phone and my wife had the dog in the front yard as Joe came cruising past the house in the other direction and sh said to me with that look ( you know that look) " Im not pushing that d* mn thing home!!!" It took almost a year to do repairs and learn enough to trust the T, that I finally talked her into riding in it. It was a good ride and we did not have to call for help or walk home so she was okay with it. It has yet to leave me stranded. Had to tinker with it once but I have always driven it home.[attachment=1]IMG_2070.JPG
here he is today

When I found him
IMG_2070.JPG (29.29 KiB) Viewed 2108 times

Dallas Landers
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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Dallas Landers » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:11 pm

Paragraphs didnt show right and photos are not what I wanted but its not my 1st mistake! :D

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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Yatcwhit » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:27 pm

Found my T on this Forum 2015 from Mike Backer In Missouri.
Payed 9500 was told it would run but could not start it . Tried every fuel stop on the way back to Fla. Would not start. Felt stupid for buying a car not running. But got home woke up next day connected 6v battery charger and it fired up first try. Boy did I feel better.

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Bob McDaniel
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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Bob McDaniel » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:59 pm

My first T started with the first old car/truck I ever found in a barn 39 years ago. I was 16 at the time and collected beer cans and at the time thought the best place to find the real old ones was in old barns so the 3 or 4 old barns down the road looked like a good place to me to hunt. When I climbed into the loft of one of the old buildings I saw this old wooden cab sitting in one end with fenders and a hood in a pile behind it so I put the sheet metal parts in place to see what it was. The name on the side of the hood read Motor Indiana Trucks so I thought it was an old State owned truck from way back but I wanted it bad!
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After calling the owner of the barn and asking if I could go look for license plates I waited a week and called him back to ask about the old truck. I was told "If you can get that thing out of there, you can have it" so the rusty hook was set. With help from my Dad we lowered the parts into the back of my Grandpa's old 48 farm truck and took it to his barn where I worked on it for most of the next summer. It took 2 years before I was able find out what the truck was and where it was built and 32 years to restore it to the point I was able to drive it for the first time.
What does this have to do with my first T you ask?

I went back to those old barns over the years and picked up anything that looked like it could have fit this old truck or an old car of any kind since no body knew what the missing parts looked like and ended up with a few small T parts and ALMOST came home with a brass carbide generator from a 1912 touring but didn't know at the time what it was or didn't think it went to a car so it was left behind. I have since found out what it was and went back to find it was gone but I did come home with this part from a 12 touring not knowing for over 20 years what it was.
After all the years of looking for the parts to finish the Indiana I decided to look for a Model T to play with till the day I could drive the old truck so when a 26 tudor came up at auction close to home I decided to bid on it not knowing anything about T's other than parts could be bought. Only problem was the auctioneer didn't see me trying to bid and sold the car to someone else. We left that day with an empty trailer and headed for home but stopped in the next town for some health food from McDonald's. My wife saw that I was real upset that the T sold to the other guy and told me I should go back and ask if he would sell it since I had asked him before what his plans were with it and he had said he didn't know and had no way to haul it home so would need to call someone to get it for him. I went back and the auction had just ended and the buyer was sitting in a chair near the dusty old T so we went over to him and I started talking to him. Turns out he bought the car to keep the other bidder from getting it because the other guy was going to sell parts and try to make money from the car instead of keep it as a complete car. I asked if he would sell and waited for his reply for what felt like forever and after a long silence he looked at me and said, "Give me $50 more than I paid for it and it's yours" I still see him at auctions and sometimes let him win and feel sometimes he lets me win. I gained my first T and a friend that day.
Give an old car guy a barn and he won't throw anything away.

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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by dunoon » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:01 pm

I was bitten by the Model t bug when I was 14 years old in 1961. I had a paper route and saved up enough money to serious looking, i was asking everyone if they knew of any old cars, I saw loads mostly setting in falling down barns or in fence rows. One kid in school I asked and he said his brother-in-law had a couple and might sell one or both. I talked my mom into going to take a look. He had a 1926 coupe and a 1920 TT truck with a side dump and solid tires. He wanted $300 for the coupe and $500 for the truck. Of which I didn't have the money for either. During that winter I heard thru the grapevine that he was getting divorced and needed to get rid of his stuff. So I called and asked if he would take $200 for the coupe he said OK. Jan 62 my brother who built and raced stock cars went with his trailer to get the car. It had snowed quite a bit so he/we shoveled show to get the garage door open to pull the car out. We used aa come-a -long and got it on the trailer. He had room in his garage so there's where it ended up. I was a subscriber of Hemmings when they were about the size of a Readers Digest and from Ill. Most of my parts I got from Mark Auto in NJ, and Warshawski in Chicago. I and a buddy got it running and would go joy riding the neighborhood. The steering was terrible over 10mph it would shimmy so bad it nearly shake the steering wheel out your hands. And it smoked worst than a steam loco. So I pulled the engine and found a deep gouge in on of the cylinders, when I save up enough money I took it to a engine machine shop and had it boiled out, and sleeved. Put it back together and it ran pretty good. I tightened up the front end mainly with aluminum foil it seemed OK. So later in the year I was ready to go but, I was still only 15 so when I turned 16 I drove it for my driving test the next town over. I drove it only in the daytime, my mom wouldn't let me out after dark as I only had mag headlights. Someone had remover the gen so no 6v lights or elect starting. I used a fence charger batter under the seat and hand cranked it. No real problems only occasionally. I saved enough to get it painted, drove it thru high school. The wooden frame for the top was rotted so the top would flap in the breeze. So I removed the whole top and god a couple pieces of 3/4" plywood and cut it in the shape of the top and put the top material on it and screwed it to the body it worked good enough. Then I hit a tree while turning, the steering went over center. I was able to get it home and was so upset I dissembled the whole car. My folks only had a 2 car garage and so I didn't have any room to store it. But, I was able to put the taken apart car in the garage everything except the engine, reared and frame was stored in the rafters and the body was covered up outside. Soon after in 1965 I joined the Navy and wasn't able to do anything with it till 1977 when my wife and kids came back from overseas. My folks sold their house so I got a u-haul and brought it to Va. I did have the engine rebuilt in 1984 by a guy up by Williamsburg and kind got the chassis back together. When we moved to the Mts in 1984 I brought it up here and put it in out underuse cellar with a dirt floor. Where it sat for the next 34 years and kinda melted away. When I decided to get working on it again it was a lot worse shape that when I put in there. Anyway I can see the light at the end of the tunnel I should have on the rd this fall or winter, All that left is the interior and top. I'll post some photos when it finished.

Steve Rinaldo
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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Steve Rinaldo » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:35 pm

A man in our local AACA region had many cars in his collection. On occasion he would drive a pretty 1910 mother-in-law car and I used to think that has to be one of the coolest car that I ever saw. He decided to refurbish the car and was in the middle of the project when he quite ill. He was in his mid 80"s at the time. He called us up said he would has to sell the car as he will never finish it due to health problem. The next thing he said was "I know you have always liked the "T", so I would like to sell to you 2. But there are some rules you have to promise me. So here they are:
1 You have to finish the car.
2 You have to take on tours.
3 You have to keep it pretty original.
4 you can"t sell it for 10 years.
That was well over 25 years ago and we have taken the car on many tours. We love the car and rhink of Herb often when we out for a drive.

Model T Tom
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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Model T Tom » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:19 pm

One piece at a time

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Re: How did you acquire your T?

Post by Mikey1968 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:19 am

Got my 1926 Touring nearly a year ago. I've been working on 60s, 70s, and 80s Fords and Mercury's since I was 15. Own 7 of them and two non-Fords now along with a 52 Farmall H and a couple of ATVs. I can make nearly anything run including most antique American pocket watches. Talents a gift from my grandfather.

A friend was visiting for a few days from Arkansas, where I used to live and graduated college from. My wife and I decided to take him to Luray Caverns for a visit. Part of the ticket included entry into their antique car museum. On the way home, I casually mentioned to my wife that I'd like to tinker on a T in my retirement pending a few years from now. She surprised me by whipping out her phone and searched eBay saying "Here's one and it's nearby." So, a few days later, I sent a few basic questions but knew nothing about T's at the time. Answers were not too satisfactory so let her go.

Time to get smart on Ts so bought books, read articles, figured I'll have time to learn so I can buy with some knowledge next time in a few years. As I read and learned, I had some twinges of regret on passing up that T. Few months go by and I get the magic email....."Are you still interested in my T? It's still available." The rest, as they say, is history. I got bit.

Now I split my time between the T, the Farmall H, the 74 Bronco, 68 Cougar, 64 F250, the 89 GT, the 86 Capri and more modern vehicles. Still working gives me the money but not the time.....I'm set for a busy and rewarding retirement.

By the way, the T is running nicely after a new Berg's radiator, deleting the water pump, new Anderson timer, pulleys, Champion X original plugs, new wires for everything, rebuilt much of the steering, and more. It's ready for the first run around the farm and learning to drive it.....if I could just get the time and weather!

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